Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson was a famous football star and actor. Simpson’s life was completely changed when he was put on trial for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Lyle Goldman. Due to the celebrity status of Simpson and the media coverage that followed the case, it is known as the “Trial of the Century.” Officially called the People of the State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson, the trial lasted from November 2, 1994 to October 3, 1995. After the extensive trial, Simpson was acquitted on murder due to a lack of evidence to convict him. This verdict is one of the most highly debated verdicts in one of the most high profile case.
The origin of this high profile case dates back to June 12, 1994. The facts of this night are disputed but what is known is that an intruder entered through the gate of Nicole Simpson’s condominium and brutally murdered her and Ronald Goldman. Goldman was a friend of Simpsons, who was there returning a pair of sunglasses. At the time of the murder O.J. and Nicole had been divorced after a largely public break-up. O.J. was on a flight to Chicago when the bodies were discovered. He was informed by police the next morning that his e-x wife had been murdered. He asked no question, simply said thank you and hung up the phone.
Simpson came home to Los Angeles where he discovered an intense police investigation under way that had labeled him as suspect #1. The first mistakes that led to the acquittal of O.J. occurred during this police investigation and initial questioning. O.J. had a deep cut on the inside of his hand that he was unable to explain and gaping holes in his story of the night of the murders. The police did not pursue the cut on his hand or ask adequate follow-up questions during the interrogation. Due to the inept work of the police officers the evidence contained in the interview was not introduced at the trial.
Police obtained enough evidence against Simpson to obtain a warrant for his arrest and charge him with the murders. O.J hired high-profile defense attorney Robert Shapiro to represent him in this case. Shapiro worked an agreement with the L.A. Police Department that O.J. would turn himself in by 10:00 am on June 17th. This was after Nicole Simpson’s funeral, which O.J. was adamant about attending. When O.J did not arrive at the agreed upon time, police officers went to his house to arrest him. This set off one of the most memorable moments in American television history. O.J. had left a suicide letter at his home which had people wondering what truly had happened to him. As dusk began to fall upon Los Angeles a motorist driving on the freeway informed police that they had seen Simpson in a white Bronco driving down the freeway. This led to a slow motion police chase with dozens of police cars and news helicopters following the white Bronco. This chase was broadcasted on every T.V. and radio in America. The police chase ended in Simpson’s driveway, where police discovered a loaded gun, almost $10,000 in cash, and a disguise inside the Bronco.
Major mistakes were made by the prosecution before the trial had even begun. The prosecution filed the case in the downtown L.A. court house rather than in the Santa Monica courthouse, were the crime was committed. Normal procedure of a case is to file where the actually crime took place. The prosecution’s most likely reason for doing this was to avoid controversy or even another riot as in the Rodney King case, due to the largely white jury that would be hear the case in Santa Monica. The prosecution believed that their case was so strong that even a minority dominated jury would still find Simpson guilty. The prosecution also did not pursue the death penalty in the case against O.J., which cost them a chance at a more qualified jury and a jury that has been proven more likely to convict guilty. Another mistake made pre-trial by the prosecution was to not consult the advice of...
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